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Uber and Lyft implements ride-sharing at SXSW to tackle high volume of commuters


By John McCarthy, Opinion Editor

March 9, 2015 | 2 min read

Taxi-hailing rivals Lyft and Uber are to launch ride-sharing services to help meet demand during the hustle and bustle of the SXSW festival, which kicks off 12 March in Austin, Texas.

To cope with demand at the event, which in 2014 had an estimated 134,000 attendees, the apps will see rides with up to two passengers pick up commuters heading in the same direction, according to TechCrunch.

Following both apps being legalised in the city last October in a bid to prep its infrastructure for the mass of people who will visit the 10 day festival, Uber and Lyft’s ride-sharing app iterations, Uberpool and LyftLine, will face off to get the most people, where they need to go, for the lowest price.

Logan Green, chief executive of Lyft denied Adweek’s line of questioning that sharing a journey with strangers is "creepy". He told the publication: “In San Francisco, we've seen usage explode - it's more than 30 percent of all our rides, it's relatively new in L.A. and New York, but we've seen similar growth there."

However, Green stated that the firm will be looking to provide festival-goers with unique “experiences,” adding, “there's a misconception that Lyft is just a better version of the taxi, you know, I think that's just scratching the surface of what we're doing”.

Lyft is the official ridesharing partner of SXSW and is offering rides in a Ferrari 458 Italia, 1963 Bentley, Tesla Model S and more via its 'Magic Mode' service.

UberPool on the other hand will be offering VIP tickets to SXSW passengers to certain exclusive events.

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